No one expects to be involved in a car accident. Driving has become an everyday part of life and many drivers fail to appreciate its inherent dangers. After an accident, you may be disoriented, panicking and unsure of what to do next. However, you will want to take a minute to clear your head and evaluate the situation. The actions you take immediately after a car accident can have a significant impact on your health, insurance claim and potential personal injury claim.
Photos are a useful tool to substantiate your accident claim and to remember key details you may otherwise forget. Do you know what you should photograph after a motor vehicle accident?
4 key items to document in photos
Photos can be used to document important information and evidence. After a car accident, take a few minutes to take photos of the items listed below. It is better to take too many photos than not enough.
- Property damage: Record damage sustained by either party's car, surrounding buildings, signs or fences. You want to clearly show the insurance company the extent of the property damage to increase your chances of recovering maximum compensation.
- Visible injuries: Visual proof of your injuries can be used as evidence in insurance and personal injury claims to verify the extent of your injuries. However, you will still need to undergo a full medical examination after the accident. Many severe injuries, such as head and spinal injuries, may not be visible or immediately apparent.
- Identifying information: Collect important identifying information from the other parties involved in the accident and witnesses. Take pictures of license plates, drivers' licenses and their insurance information. You may need to contact them later on or provide their information to your insurer.
- Surrounding environment: Roadway conditions can contribute to your car accident. Take pictures of any nearby signs, stop lights, overgrown shrubbery, potholes or other items blocking the roadway. You can use this to recreate the scene of the accident, to prove the other driver's fault or to clearly explain what occurred.
If you do not have your phone with you at the time of accident, ask the other driver, a witness or even the police if they would be able to take a few photos on your behalf.
While you may be overwhelmed, try to think through how you can protect your best interests long-term. You want to gather as much information about your accident as possible to submit to insurance or in case you pursue a personal injury claim.